Even though microscopes have been around for hundreds of years, they are still playing a vital role in modern medicine. In fact, a new microscope is being purchased for Kingston General Hospital’s Laboratory Services Department that will reduce the time it takes to review cancer cells while a patient is in surgery. It’s all thanks to a $60,000 donation from the Kingston Community Credit Union (KCCU).
The new multi-head microscope will replace an older model and will provide clearer images of cancer tissue samples.
Surgeons are able to take a sample of tissue during a cancer operation and easily consult with a pathologist and a team of other professionals using the microscope. They are able to determine which tissue samples are cancerous, while the patient is still under anesthesia in the operating room. Armed with a diagnosis the surgeon is able to then return to the patient and remove the rest of the cancerous tissue.
“This is one of the more critical day-to-day activities that we engage in, so having a good quality equipment and set up is really important,” says Pathologist Dr. Timothy Childs.
To complete a test like this with the current microscope it takes, on average, about 20 minutes. With the new microscope it is expected that results will be quicker due to the improved clarity of the images.
“This donation by the KCCU is an example of commitment to all the people that are served by our hospital,” says Denise Cumming, Executive Director of the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation. “The laboratories at Kingston General Hospital not only provide vital diagnostic information to caregivers at KGH but provide a key diagnostic role to hospitals throughout the region.”
Medical professionals in training will also benefit from this new technology as the microscope comes equipped with a large television screen so students can view the tissue samples as the pathologist works with the surgical team. Last year, the Laboratory Services Department conducted over one million tests for patients at Kingston General Hospital and other for hospitals across Southeastern Ontario.
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